Social Media Archives - Rock, Paper, Scissors

Posted 05 Aug 2015

Hashtag Overhaul

hash·tag (n.)
A word or phrase preceded by a hash or pound sign (#) and used to identify messages on a specific topic.

Hashtags have gotten out of hand. People are making seventeen-word hashtags, adding in unusable characters, and including words that don’t actually exist. Tweeters and Instagrammers alike have a great disdain for Facebook hashtaggers, of which I am admittedly one. You get it. Hashtags are everywhere and it’s fair to say that some have lost touch with the correct way to create them, and perhaps never knew it in the first place. If you’re willing to embark on a great journey of deep wisdom and discovery, we’re going to have a hashtag overhaul.

If you missed our webinar, view it now:

Before we can dive into how to use a hashtag, we need to cover what hashtags are. When you go back to the basics, hashtags are really just a link. When someone uses a hashtag in a tweet or post, you simply click on the hashtag & it will take you to a live, running list of all posts related to that specific topic. For those of you new to the scene, Hashtags originated in information technology to denote a special meaning, and later to label certain topics.

Reborn in 2009, Hashtags made a new home on social media to group tweets related to a certain topic. They aren’t overly complicated and are absolutely useful. You simply place the pound symbol like so, #, and add a topic or word to the end of it. By inserting that into a tweet, insta, or post you can instantly connect with others who have used the same hashtag. There are proper and improper ways to go about this.

Proper Hashtag Usage:

Hashtagimages

Proper hashtags are  simple, direct, and help group your tweet, post, or instagram into a category for others to find. For example: It was just a few weeks ago that Apple launched it’s new AppleMusic. Artists, fans, and internet trolls alike posted their comments to the web. By simply ‘hashtagging’ or searching #AppleMusic, I was instantly connected with thousands upon thousands of others who were speaking up about the new product. #AppleMusic worked as an effective hashtag because it was a topic well known and highly anticipated by many. It made sense for this to be a trending topic.

Other Ways to Hashtag:

For every up, there’s a down and using hashtags can spiral out of control quicker than you realize. Alright, so it’s not that big of a deal. For today, we’ll cover the three most common, accepted but incorrect ways to use a hashtag.

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  • The Run-On Hashtag:

    The run-on hashtag, while not that uncommon, obviously loses some of the hashtag categorization purpose. This is not to say that you can’t do that and that someone won’t find your post, but we’re talking about proper usage here. Having such a long and drawn out hashtag takes away from the topic itself. A better choice might be #BestWeekEver. This more limited, straight forward version says the same thing, but connected me with pages and pages worth of other tweets.

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  • The Nonexistent Hashtag:

This refers to a hashtag you create and you alone are the one with posts on that topic. Clearly, not everyone has a dog named Rover, nor do they wish their pets a happy birthday on social platforms. If this is right up your alley, a better choice might be #HappyBirthday or #BirthdayDog

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  • Hashtags Everywhere:

Lastly, and probably the most looked-down-upon of all hashtagging techniques – the hashtags everywhere. This typically comes from someone who is trying to over-connect and rack up on followers by having tweets and posts show up on as many different hashtag topics as possible. It’s effective in exposure, but drives some followers away.  *User friendly but not user friendly. Better Choice: Research two or three top trending hashtags that have to do with what you’re talking about. That way, you still get ample exposure without losing followers in the process. Don’t forget you can access current trends on Twitter by viewing the column beneath your picture.

 

Now that the different ways to hashtag have been covered, it’s important to understand the best practices when it comes to using them.

  1. Don’t use Special characters – hashtags don’t recognize periods, commas, apostrophes, or anything of the like. *It’s okay to leave out punctuation in this case
  2. Don’t put spaces in your hashtag – hashtags don’t recognize spaces and anything placed after the space will no longer be accounted for.
  3. CamelCase – for those of you who don’t know, camel case is when you capitalize the first leader of each word. This makes it easier for people to read and understand your hashtag.
  4. Pay attention to trends – if you want you hashtags to count, read up on the latest trends and try to incorporate them into your tweets and posts.
  5. Hashtag with Care – Make sure you understand the context of what you’re tweeting. Just take it from Digiorno It’s easy to assume you understand the topic, and it be completely different.

Last but not least, we’re going to talk about Hashtag strategy. It’s okay to create a hashtag when you’re starting a new campaign or creating a business, just make sure that it’s branded and reflects your company/organization. The real magic happens when you pair these branded hashtags with generic hashtags, which gives you more exposure and allows people to find your new and awesome hashtag.

When used correctly, hashtags really are an effective tool to help you connect with people with similar interests. As with all social media engagement, follow the unwritten rules of which “less is more” is the most important.  Aren’t convinced? Hear what Jimmy and Justin have to say.

Finally, hashtag what you know and what you actually care about and do not abuse the privilege. The internet thanks you in advance.

Posted 29 Jun 2015
Linkedin Webinar Banner

LinkedIn – Love it or Hate it

Back 2 Basics Series

Every day there is more and more clutter out in the world and it is very easy to get distracted and lose focus, so we are continuing our back to basics conversation about how to best leverage LinkedIn. If you missed our live webinar, you can view it below.

LinkedIn History/Purpose

Because this platform can seem intimidating to new users, we want to talk about the basics and create a firm foundation for growth.  As we cover best practices and various elements that make up an engaging presence on LinkedIn, we have to go back to the start.

LinkedIn launched on May 5, 2003 and has quickly become ‘The World’s Largest Professional Network’, connecting business professionals for employment and networking purposes – this is not your mom’s Facebook account. LinkedIn comes equipped with regular job postings related to your profile information and industry updates to keep you aware of current events. LinkedIn is a valuable resource if you use it to the full extent. What does that truly look like? To uncover the All-Star Profile, Connecting with Care, and general best practices, keep reading.
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Posted 10 Jun 2014
Social Media for Business

Social Media for Business: The What, The Who and the How

Social media is so quick and easy to get off the ground that it’s tempting to bypass the planning and just dive in. But be careful, because this can be a formula for disaster! Without proper planning, social media can end up being a waste of valuable time and resources for your business and your team. It’s crucial to set goals and know how to measure success before you begin.

In our last post, we discussed knowing who’s in charge of your campaign. This is an important first step. You want to make sure to have your social media team members in place when you start the actual planning so that everyone can be on the same page. Now, the strategy can begin. Here are some questions to answer with your team that will shape your brand’s social media campaign.

The What:

The first question of your planning needs to be: What do we want to accomplish with our social media campaign? You have lots of options here. Is this campaign aiming to generate awareness, convert interactions directly into sales, provide information to your audience, or maybe even a combination of these? 

Once you’ve determined the goal, make sure to communicate it to your whole team.

The Who:

Having the “What” in places makes the next round of planning a lot easier. In order to achieve the goal of your campaign, you will want to know some key information about your social media audience. This will help you reach the most people as efficiently as possible. Answering the following questions will get you started on the right foot:

  • Who is your audience?
  • What is their demographic? How about their psychographic? 
  • Which social networks does your audience visit most? Do they live on Pinterest, or do they spend their spare time on Twitter?
  • What topics is your audience interested in?
  • Who are they talking to now? What other brands and influencers do they engage with?

The How:

When you have taken the time to understand your social audience, you can begin to implement your social media campaign. Create a plan, develop a calendar for posts and milestones, and pick platforms based on which ones your audience engage with most. Measuring key metrics will allow you to see how your campaign is performing.

Each platform has different metrics to measure, such as likes and comments on Facebook, or retweets and favorites on Twitter. Your goals will depend on the type of campaign you are running. For an awareness or informational campaign, engagement and interactions for each of the platforms will be key. If you are running a conversation campaign, you’ll instead be looking for links back to your website. Here is a list of some of the tools you can use to measure your campaign:

Now that you have a plan in place, consistency is key. Post regularly and measure the response often to make sure you are on track. This will also let you know when to break out the champagne to celebrate reaching your social media goals! 

Posted 22 May 2014
5 common social media mistakes (and how to avoid them)

5 Common Social Media Mistakes (and How You can Avoid Them)

By now, we all know that social media is here to stay. We have seen some platforms come and go, but no matter what comes next, you can bet we are going to stay connected as a culture. How many people do you know who check their Facebook or Twitter feed before they even get out of bed in the morning? Maybe you’re one of them! Either way, it’s pretty clear that people truly love social media.
Read the rest of “5 Common Social Media Mistakes (and How You can Avoid Them)”

Posted 30 Apr 2014

Social Media Marketing: Who’s in Charge?

Congratulations, you’re finally ready to start a social media initiative for your company! Although you might not have worked out all the details, you are ready to make Social Media Marketing a priority. It’s so important for your brand to be visible on social networks, and there are some critical decisions you need to make about the goals of your campaign and which platforms you are going to use. But just as importantly, have you decided who will be running your campaign?
Read the rest of “Social Media Marketing: Who’s in Charge?”

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